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Safe Patient Handling Law updates

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by P_RN P_RN, BSN, RN (Member) Member

P_RN has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

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a really strong nurse safety advocate anne hudson sent me this. it's important, really important. ps i contributed a chapter to her textbook but that's not what this is about.

may 13, 2007

dear wing usa friends,

safe patient handling legislative update may 2007

legislative activity continues for the safe handling of patients and residents in america. maryland has most recently passed legislation and several more states have introduced legislation calling for the use of modern technology rather than the backs of healthcare workers for lifting and moving dependent persons.

at this writing, at least 15 states have passed or introduced legislation for or related to safe patient handling. with passage of companion bills in april 2007, maryland joined the growing list of states which are acting to curtail the epidemic of injuries caused by the unsafe manual lifting of people by other people. this report includes a summary of known state activity. other states besides those listed may have passed or introduced, while certain other states are reported to be considering introducing.

notably, the national bill, hr 378 nurse and patient safety and protection act of 2007, introduced january 10, 2007, by representative john conyers, jr, (d mi-14), continues in the us house of representatives. hr 378 was referred to the committee on education and labor and, also, to the committee on energy and commerce where it was subsequently referred, on february 2, 2007, to the subcommittee on health. if hr 378 passes, the united states will have a federal standard for the safe handling of patients in our country.

to express support of hr 378 nurse and patient safety and protection act of 2007, contact representative john conyers, john.conyers@mail.house.gov, (202) 225-5126, and mr. joel segal, legislative assistant on health policy, joel.segal@mail.house.gov, (202) 225-5126. for links to the history and text of hr 378, go to http://thomas.loc.gov.

the following summarizes state activity for safe patient handling which is known at this time.

maryland passed identical companion bills hb 1137 and sb 879 for safe patient handling on april 10, 2007.

hb 1137 “
health care facilities and regulation
,” sponsored by delegates joseline pena-melnyk (d), aisha n. braveboy (d), melony g. griffith (d),jolene ivey (e), and kris valderrama (d), was introduced february 19, 2007. after passing the house and senate on march 21, 2007, and april 1, 2007, respectively, hb 1137 was approved by democratic governor marin o’malley on april 10, 2007.

sb 879 “hospitals - safe patient lifting,” sponsored by senator paul g. pinsky (d), was introduced on february 21, 2007. sb 879 passed the senate on march 24, 2007, the house on march 29, 2007, and was approved by democratic governor martin o’malley on april 10, 2007.

hb 1137 and sb 879 define “safe patient lifting” as “use of mechanical lifting devices by hospital employees, instead of manual lifting, to lift, transfer, and reposition patients.” the new laws require maryland hospitals to develop a safe patient lifting committee, with equal numbers of managers and employees by december 1, 2007, and a safe patient lifting policy to reduce employee injuries with patient lifting by july 1, 2008. consideration is to be given to patient handling hazard assessment; enhanced use of mechanical lifting devices; development of specialized lift teams; training programs for safe patient lifting; incorporating space and construction design for mechanical lifting devices in architectural plans; and evaluating effectiveness of the safe lifting policy which is to take effect october 1, 2007.

md hb 1137 history and text: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007rs/billfile/hb1137.htm.

md sb 879 history and text: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007rs/billfile/sb0879.htm.

maryland joins these six states which have enacted legislation for or related to safe patient handling: texas, washington, hawaii, rhode island, ohio, and new york.

  • hawaii house concurrent resolution no 16, passed on april 24, 2006, calls for safeguards in health care facilities to minimize musculoskeletal injuries by nurses and for the state legislature to support policies in american nurses association’s “handle with care” campaign. text: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2006/bills/hcr16_.pdf.

  • ohio passed hb 67 on march 21, 2005, to create a workers’ compensation fund for interest-free loans to nursing homes for lift equipment and for implementation of “no manual lifting of residents” policies. text: scroll down to sec. 4121.48. http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?id=126_hb_67_en.

the following nine states have introduced, or re-introduced, legislation for safe patient handling: illinois, new jersey, massachusetts, california, florida, minnesota, nevada, michigan, and new york.

  • illinois companion bills with identical wording hb 4558 and sb 2692, to amend the nursing home care act and the hospital licensing act, were introduced in january 2006 but were not successful. hb 4558 was introduced by representative angelo saviano ® on january 11, 2006. sb 2692 was introduced by senator donne e. trotter (d) on january 20, 2006. both bills apparently died on january 9, 2007.

hb 4558 and sb 2692 would have required illinois nursing homes and hospitals to implement a policy to control the risk of injury to residents, patients, and nurses with lifting, transferring, repositioning, or movement of residents and patients, and “restriction to the extent feasible with existing equipment and aids, of manual resident [or patient] handling or movement of all or most of a resident’s [or patient's] weight to emergency, life-threatening, or otherwise exceptional circumstances.” analysis of the risk of injury to residents, patients, and nurses with handling; education of nurses to identify, assess, and control the risk of injury with handling; and procedures for a nurse to refuse to perform patient or resident handling believed in good faith to expose the patient, resident, or nurse to an unacceptable risk of injury would have also been required.

il hb 4558 text:

il hb 4558 history: [
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?docnum=4558&gaid=8&ga=94&doctypeid=hb&legid=22851&sessionid=50
.

il sb 2692 text:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/94/sb/pdf/09400sb2692lv.pdf
.

il sb 2692 history:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?docnum=2692&gaid=8&doctypeid=sb&legid=23638&sessionid=50&ga=94

  • new jersey introduced identical bills s1758 and a3028 in march and may of 2006.

s 1758 was introduced on march 21, 2006, by primary sponsors senators joseph f. vitale (d) and loretta weinberg (d) and co-sponsors senators john h. adler (d), fred h. madden, jr. (d), ronald l. rice (d), and barbara buono (d). on december 14, 2006, s1758 was reported favorably with amendments by the senate health, human services and senior citizens committee and was referred to the senate budget and appropriations committeewith no hearing scheduled.

a 3028 "safe patient handling act" was introduced on may 15, 2006, by primary sponsors assemblymen herb conaway, jr. (d), vincent prieto (d), and gary s. schaer (d), and assemblywoman joan m. voss (d), with co-sponsors assemblywomen linda r. greenstein (d) and valerie vainieri huttle (d), and assemblymen patrick j. diegnan, jr. (d), robert m. gordon (d), and thomas p. giblin (d). a3028 was reported favorably by the assembly health and senior services committee as an assembly committee substitute on january 18, 2007, and was referred to the assembly appropriations committee with a hearing scheduled may 10, 2007. if passed, licensed health care facilities will be required to establish a safe patient handling program and policy including availability and prompt access to mechanical patient handling equipment and patient handling aids.

nj a 3028 and nj s 1758 links to history and text:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us
.

nj a 3028 text of assembly committee substitute dated january 18, 2007:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/bills/a3500/3028_s1.pdf
.

nj s 1758 text with amendments dated december 14, 2006:

  • massachusetts senator richard t. moore (d) introduced senate number 1294 on january 10, 2007, “an act to require the use of evidence-based practices for safe patient handling and movement.” massachusetts has pursued legislation for safe patient handling since the first introduction in december 2004.

if passed, sn 1294 would require every licensed health care facility to implement an evidence-based policy for safe handling and movement of patients; and to provide training on use of patient handling equipment and devices, patient care ergonomic assessment protocols, no lift policies, and patient lift teams. the intent of the “no lift policy” is the elimination of manual handling in virtually every patient care situation, apart from all but exceptional or life threatening situations. constituting a pledge from administrators that proper equipment, adequately maintained and in sufficient numbers, will be available to care providers, the “no lift policy” is an integral part of a comprehensive safe patient handling and movement program in acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities.

ma sn 1294 history:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/185history/s01294.htm
.

ma sn 1294 text:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st01/st01294.htm
.

  • california has introduced safe patient handling legislation for the fourth year running, following vetoes by governor arnold schwarzenegger ® in 2004 of ab 2532 by assembly member loni hancock (d), in 2005 of sb 363 by senator don perata (d), and in 2006 of sb 1204 by senator don perata (d).

on february 5, 2007, senator don perata (d) introduced sb 171 “hospital patient and health care worker injury protection act” which would require general acute care hospitals to establish a patient protection and health care worker back injury prevention plan; to conduct needs assessments to identify patients needing lift teams, and lift, repositioning, or transfer devices; to use lift teams, and lift, repositioning, and transfer devices; and to train health care workers on the appropriate use of lift, repositioning, and transfer devices. sb 171 was amended on april 23, 2007, and was referred to the senate appropriations committee.

companion bill ab 371 “an act…relating to health facility financing…” was introduced february 14, 2007, by assembly member jared huffman (d). ab 371 would require hospitals applying for financing from issuance of tax-exempt bonds to provide a copy of the hospital's injury and illness prevention program (iipp) specifying how they have implemented or plan to implement a hospital patient and health care worker injury prevention program, including a "zero lift policy” for substituting manual lifting and transferring of patients with powered patient transfer devices, lifting devices, or lift teams. ab 371 was amended on april 23, 2007, and was referred to the assembly committee on appropriations.

ca sb 171 links to history and text:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
.

ca sb 171 amended text:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0151-0200/sb_171_bill_20070423_amended_sen_v98.pdf
.

ca ab 371 links to history and text:
http://info.sen.ca.gov
.

ca ab 371 amended text:
http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_371_bill_20070423_amended_asm_v97.pdf
.

  • florida reintroduced companion bills for safe patient handling in february 2007 which would have created a new florida statute for safe patient handling and movement practices, but both bills died in committee on may 4, 2007.

sb 2208 “patient handling/safe movement/hospitals” was filed february 26, 2007, by senator j. alex villalobos ®. sb 2208 died in committee on finance and tax on may 4, 2007. sb 2208 would have required hospitals to adopt a policy for safe movement of patients and would have prohibited hospitals from retaliating or discriminating against employees who, in good faith, reported violations of the act.

hb 1193 “patient handling and moving practices” was filed february 27, 2007, by representative yolly roberson (d) and co-sponsors representatives susan bucher (d); edward d. “ed” bullard (d); bill heller (d); evan jenne (d); john legg ®; julio robaina ®; michael scionti (d); james w. “jim” waldman (d); and juan c. zapata ®. hb 1193 died in committee on health innovation on may 4, 2007. hb 1193 would have required hospitals and nursing homes to adopt a safe patient handling and moving policy and to provide for incorporation of patient handling equipment into construction or remodeling of hospitals or nursing homes; for protection for employees who report violations; for rulemaking authority; and for credit to cover cost of equipment.

fl sb 2208 links to history and text:
http://www.flsenate.gov
.

fl hb 1193 links to history and text:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov

  • minnesota introduced companion bills sf 828 and hf 712 for safe patient handling in february 2007. sf 828 "safe patient handling act" was introduced february 15, 2007, by senators linda higgins (d); sharon l. erickson ropes (d); kathy sheran (d); paul e. koering ®; and john marty (d). on march 12, 2007, the amended bill was referred to finance - economic development budget division.

hf 712 “sate patient handling act” was introduced february 8, 2007, by representatives patti fritz (d); erin murphy (d); maria ruud (d); karen clark (d); jim abeler ®; david bly (d). on march 22, 2007, the amended bill was referred to the higher education and work force development policy and finance division.

if passed, sf 828 and hf 712 would require all licensed health care facilities to establish a safe patient handling committee and a safe patient handling program to minimize manual lifting by nurses and other direct patient care workers by utilizing safe patient handling equipment rather than people to transfer, move, and reposition patients in all health care facilities. the bill would require the commissioner of labor and industry to enforce the safe patient handling act and would appropriate $2 million for grants to health care facilities for safe patient handling equipment.

mn sf 828 and mn hf 712 history and text:
http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legis.asp
.

  • nevada ab 577 was introduced on march 26, 2007, by health and human services. if passed ab 577 would require hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to establish a program and policy for safe handling of patients, including a committee on safe handling of patients, annual training for employees on safe handling of patients, annual evaluation of the policy, consideration of incorporation of lifting equipment during construction or remodeling, and annual reports to the nevada legislature concerning the safe handling of patients. on april 23, 2007, ab 577 passed the assembly 34 to 8 and is currently in the senate.

nv ab 577 history:
https://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/reports/history.cfm?documenttype=1&billno=577
.

nv ab 577 text with amendments adopted april 23, 2007:

  • michigan senator dennis olshove (d) introduced senate bill 377 on march 27, 2007, with co-sponsors senators gilda jacobs (d), raymond basham (d), liz brater (d), deborah cherry (d), and bruce patterson ®. if passed, sb 377 would amend 1978 pa 368 "public health code" by adding section 21525 which would require hospitals to establish a safe patient handling committee by january 1, 2008, and a safe patient handling program by september 1, 2008. hospitals could choose one of three options for acquisition of lift equipment by december 31, 2011.

sb 377 includes provision for employees refusing, without reprisal, to perform patient handling believed in good faith to be unsafe and specifies that "safe patient handling" means the use of engineering controls, lifting and transfer aids, or assistive devices, by lift teams or other staff, instead of manual lifting for lifting, transferring, and repositioning health care patients and residents.

mi sb 377 history:
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(s(bj3n1c2yhuxae3b5wvdzer45))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=2007-sb-0377
.

mi sb 377 text
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/billintroduced/senate/pdf/2007-sib-0377.pdf

  • new york introduced identical bills a 7836 and s 5116 in april 2007. “an act to amend chapter 738 of the laws of 2005, relating to establishing a safe patient handling demonstration program, in relation to the effectiveness thereof” would extend for two years the demonstration program to research the effect of safe patient handling programs in health care facilities in new york state, and would build upon existing evidence-based data in order to design "best practices" for safe patient handling in health care facilities in new york state. specifications for safe patient handling programs would also be established.

ny s 5116 was introduced by senator kemp hannon ® on april 25, 2007. history and text:
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=s05116
.

ny a 7836 was introduced by assembly member richard n. gottfried (d) on april 26, 2007. history and text:
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=a07836
.

best wishes to each of you...anne

anne hudson, rn, bsn

may 13, 2007

founder work injured nurses' group usa

coos bay, oregon

anne@wingusa.org

www.wingusa.org

 

 

australia has gone hands-free. are we americans and canadians so stubborn that we'd rather harm our backs than admit we need help. get ahold of your state's representatives and senators on shake some cages. what have we to lose? our backs and eventually our self worth. believe me. not fun that.

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RGN1 specializes in med/surg.

1,700 Posts; 11,349 Profile Views

UK has a no lift policy too - I've been nursing for 11 years & my back is fine. Glad to see the hospital in the USA where I'm going to be working (once this stupid retrogression is over) has a good policy & a lift team in situ! I've no desire to end my career with a bad back having done so well so far!

Good to see that the USA & Canada is finally looking at this problem - nurses need protecting, especially in light of the number of clinically obese people there are now.

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nightmare is a LPN and specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

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Good for the US! You should each get a print out of your state law on manual handling and shake it under your admins nose until you get equipment,training etc..What do they mean by "lift teams"however? That still sounds like you will be lifting! The use of the word "lifting" here is frowned upon as is lifting itself.

As a traditionally trained RGN we were trained to lift and,while I fully endorse the no lifting policy ,I wish that some basic lifting techniques were still taught as lifting is part of life.After all you don't use a hoist to lift your two year old do you or your heavy shopping or the 100 and 1 things that we lift in our normal daily routines. When an emergency happens or you have a situation where only a lift will work that's when staff hurt themselves because they do not have the basic mechanics.

Good luck with your safe patient handling,it takes a while to get used to but once you're up to speed it's amazing how quickly you can move patients and without that all too familiar ache in the back at the end of the day!

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

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good for the us! you should each get a print out of your state law on manual handling and shake it under your admins nose until you get equipment,training etc..what do they mean by "lift teams"however? that still sounds like you will be lifting! the use of the word "lifting" here is frowned upon as is lifting itself.

issue is very few states have manual handling for healthcare worker laws or any laws on back injury prevention.

lift teams are exactly that:

groups of workers mostly men that using transfer boards only to move patients from bed to stretchers,radiology tables etc or transporting to other departments for studies.

ana has been behind legislation for several years.

occupational health handle with care® campaign

the handle with care® campaign seeks to mount a profession-wide effort to prevent back and other musculoskeletal injuries through greater education and training, and increased use of assistive equipment and patient-handling devices. the campaign also seeks to reshape nursing education, and federal and state ergonomics policy by highlighting the ways technology-oriented safe-patient handling benefits patients and the nursing workforce.

below you will find news items and campaign materials that you can view online or download.

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nightmare is a LPN and specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

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just a thought but what happens to nurses who come to US from countries with a non lifting policy.Will they suddenly have to learn to lift.Will they be taught how to lift before they start work in US. I can see many a back problem arising from that.

Hopefully some of them might be able to teach some of the non lifting methods in the US.

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2,999 Posts; 14,894 Profile Views

Interesting. I don't have the time right now to read through all the info in the OP, but I wonder... If these laws are in place and there is a circumstance in which a lift must be done manually, does that negate any claim of WC should the nurse be injured?

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nightmare is a LPN and specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

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If we have an up to date manual handling cert.and get hurt doing a non regulation lift then basically we haven't a leg to stand on!

I'm not sure about what would happen in an emergency situation like a fire exac.for example if you were lifting and hurt yourself then. I would like to think we would get some sort of comp.but I've never heard of it so don't really know.

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I can see it being an issue, unless the law is written in such a way as to allow exceptions. The WC claims reps will do everything in their power to deny as many claims as possible. I was denied after burning my hand and wrist; I was heating soup for a patient and it tilted back and caused a pretty painful burn. I was sent to the ER by the supervisor, only to have WC refuse to pay because (according to them) that wasn't part of my job duties.

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nightmare is a LPN and specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

2 Articles; 1,297 Posts; 14,307 Profile Views

I can see it being an issue, unless the law is written in such a way as to allow exceptions. The WC claims reps will do everything in their power to deny as many claims as possible. I was denied after burning my hand and wrist; I was heating soup for a patient and it tilted back and caused a pretty painful burn. I was sent to the ER by the supervisor, only to have WC refuse to pay because (according to them) that wasn't part of my job duties.

Ah,the good old job discription get out clause!!!:banghead: How much work would be completed ,I wonder,if we worked to rule and only did what was in our job descriptions.:angryfire

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Ah,the good old job discription get out clause!!!:banghead: How much work would be completed ,I wonder,if we worked to rule and only did what was in our job descriptions.:angryfire

I no doubt would have been counseled had I told that patient, "Sorry, heating your soup is not in my job description."

I got even, sorta. When the bill came, I told them to payroll deduct at $25 a month because I simply couldn't afford to pay any more than that (I could, but screw 'em lol).

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The only people who seem to have much interest in Safe Patient Moving & Handling Equipment at a corporate level appear to be long term care facilities

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This law is mandated in Texas. I just started a new job as DON and found that we do not have a policy for safe patient handling and movement act. Can anyone share please?

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